In the early 1970s Hollywood actor Jerry Lewis started working on a Holocaust film so bizarre he ended up hiding all the footage and to this day it has never been seen.
|Scooped by Judith van Praag|
Can we, or may we fictionalize the Holocaust? And what about comedy? These questions have been asked often, and of late, younger writers and comedians have taken the liberty to do venture where we did not go before.
Listening to the conversations in the documentary, I recall Holocaust survivors joking about knowing one another from way back, from the resort where they spent some time during the 1940s. They are allowed to joke, but who else is? Do you have to have lived through the Shoah to be allowed to fictionalize history?
Is this a fitting scoop for Holocaust Holland? Perhaps not, and yet, the questions posed above are true for any of the countries where Jews were prosecuted and eventually killed for being Jewish.
I'm watching the documentary as my contemporaries and younger thinkers ponder the question.
In an interview we hear Jerry Lewis say that his philosophy of comedy is, "A man in trouble." There you go. Still, Lewis said the movie won't be seen because of how people will deal with the feelings that surface creating the film.
A young scholar says: What are we laughing at and who are we laughing with, think about Chaplin, who is the butt of the joke is what counts.
And yet, Lewis pulled the movie, we'll have to wait till 2025 to see it.